Contractor sues over non-payment on home that failed inspection allegedly due to homeowner

By Louisiana Record reports | Jun 12, 2014

GRETNA – A contractor is suing a client he was building a home for after he was allegedly not paid when the home failed an inspection.

Garland C. Smith Jr. filed suit against Milton M. Frank in the 24th Judicial District Court on May 20.

Smith asserts he entered into a construction contract with Frank to build a home located at 204 Coolidge St. in Jefferson. The plaintiff claims he was to be paid $203,593 by the defendant to complete the contract. Smith alleges that on July 19, 2013 he submitted a request for and received his first payment in the amount of $20,000 after passing an initial inspection and also at that time the contract amount was increased to $230,109.

The plaintiff asserts that he continued to work on the home construction for 10 months during which time the defendant paid him all but $38,287.87 when final inspection was ordered. Smith claims that the home did not pass its final inspection because Frank had altered the contractor permit and added a fence to it that was never constructed and also was not up to code due to drainage issues and missing house numbers, which Smith claims were all the owner’s responsibility. However, after going ahead and fixing a few of the items the plaintiff asserts he requested full payment of the balance, but never received it and that afterward the defendant changed the locks on the home so the plaintiff could no longer access it.

The defendant is accused of breach of contract.

Damages in the amount of $38,287.87 plus attorney’s fees are sought by the plaintiff.

Smith is represented by Thomas E. Loehn of Metairie-based Boggs, Loehn & Rodrigue.

The case has been assigned to Division H Judge Glenn B. Ansardi.

Case no. 738-785.

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